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Statement by Ambassador Hu Xiaodi, Head of the Chinese Delegation, on Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones at the 3rd Session of the PrepCom for the 2005 NPT Review Conference
(29 April 2004)

2004/04/29


Mr. Chairman,

The establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones is an important step towards a world free of nuclear weapons and of great significance to pushing forward nuclear disarmament, preventing proliferation of nuclear weapons and promoting regional and world peace and security.

China always respects and supports efforts made by non-nuclear-weapon states to establish nuclear-weapon-free zones according to their regional situation on the basis of a voluntary agreement. China unconditionally undertakes not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones.

China holds that the principles on establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones adopted by the United Nations Disarmament Commission in 1999 should be faithfully observed. Nuclear-weapon states should support efforts by non-nuclear-weapon states to establish nuclear-weapon-free zones on the basis of voluntary agreement, respect the legal status of nuclear-weapon-free zones, and undertake corresponding obligations in a legally binding form. Nuclear-weapon states should also, in accordance with paragraph 5, article 7 of the Final Document of 2000 NPT Review Conference, take measures to implement all security assurances enshrined in the relevant nuclear-weapon-free zone treaties and protocols.

Mr. Chairman,

Bearing in mind the said positions, China has signed and ratified the Antarctic Treaty and the relevant protocols to the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and Caribbean, South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty, African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty and undertaken relevant obligations. China supports efforts made by the ASEAN states to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone and has reached agreement in principle with ASEAN on relevant issues in the Protocol to the Southeast Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty. China hopes that ASEAN and the other four nuclear-weapon states will reach common understanding on the unresolved issues as soon as possible so that the protocol will be open to signature at an early date.

China supports efforts by the five states in Central Asia to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone. We have no substantive difficulty with the current drafts of the treaty and the protocol. China is willing to sign the protocol at an early date after all parties agree on the treaty and protocol.

China supports the efforts to establish a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East and hopes that parties concerned realize this objective through consultations as soon as possible.

China respects Mongolia's status as a non-nuclear weapon state and responded positively to the Mongolian proposal on concluding a treaty among China, Mongolia and Russia.

Mr. Chairman,

The world's nuclear-weapon-free zones are growing, which is a positive step towards complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons and towards a world free of nuclear weapons. China will, as it always does, continue to support the relevant efforts and contribute to the noble goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.

The Chinese Delegation has put forward a working paper on nuclear-weapon-free zone, and hopes that the relevant elements will be reflected in the recommendations to the 2005 NPT Review Conference. China's fact sheet on Nuclear Disarmament covers actions that China has taken in support of nuclear-weapon-free zones.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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